Audubon Society celebrating river grant with contest

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The Dungeness River Audubon Society is celebrating a year of grant-sponsored education with a contest.


In September 2009, the Audubon Center received a $20,000 grant from Toyota and the National Audubon Society. The grant paid for interpretive programs, interpretive signs, staff time and the ability to host presentations by the Clallam Conservation District and Clallam County Environmental Health Division.


“The main goal of the grant is to increase public awareness of the Dungeness River and all it does for us,” said Bob Boekelheide, director of the River Center.


He said the river has been historically important for irrigation, fish and wildlife, recreation and providing groundwater.


“We call it the lifeblood of the Dungeness Valley,” he said. “It’s one of the main reasons this area is such a nice place to live.”


Boekelheide said the river has provided hunting grounds, water and cause for celebration for people for millions of years. Some of the first humans in the area killed bison, mastodons and other large game 14,000 years ago at the Happy Valley Manis Mastodon site, he said. For the past 115 years, the Irrigation Festival has celebrated the river’s bounty, he said.


About two decades ago people recognized a need to improve communication regarding the river between people who use the river for fishing and those who live on the river and have concerns about flooding, he said. The Dungeness River Management Team was formed to meet that need and focus on water uses, flood control and fish and wildlife, he said.


The team continues its mission today.


To continue to promote education about the river, the center is basing the contest on knowledge of the Dungeness River. The contest includes two questions that can be answered by reading interpretive signs in Railroad Bridge Park, on displays inside the River Center, or the center’s website at


Answers must be mailed with name, address and phone number to the Dungeness River Audubon Center, P.O. Box 2450, Sequim, WA 98382. Or, e-mail to


All correct answers are put in a random drawing to win a $25 gift certificate at the River Center gift shop. All entries must be received by Aug. 25.


Staff and board members of the Dungeness River Audubon Center, its partner organizations and members of the Dungeness River Management Team are not eligible.


For more information call 681-4076.


The 2010 Dungeness River Festival is at Railroad Bridge Park from Sept. 24-26. More than 30 exhibitors and venders showcase the river and all it provides for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. The festival runs daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, is Education Day, when not only the public but also several hundred local school children attend the festival to learn about the river. On Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 25-26, Olympic Driftwood Artists present their latest creations in the River Center building. Music, food and fun activities for all. Check the River Center’s website at for the latest calendar of events.


Amanda Winters can be reached at awinters@


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